When people show an interest in the things that interest you, it’s a real buzz. It feels exciting and exhilarating to discuss and debate those topics that interest you with people who are interested in them too.
So how then, do we make people feel acknowledged and valued when what they’re interest in doesn’t interest us at all?
When people talk about electrical circuits, networking, logistics and data validation, I’m only remotely interested. They’re not things I’m good at and they’re not things I’ll ever excel at. But, to acknowledge and value my colleagues, I show an interest in them and I value the enthusiasm which they bring to their profession and their area of expertise. I appreciate the strength that their expertise and skill bring to an area which is my weakness. If you’re a manager of people, it’s really important to value all of the skills of everyone in your team.
I don’t presume this is always easy. When we’re busy, tired and have other things to do, we become easily irritated by things that we don’t consider important. Maybe transferring our attention from the ‘what’ to the ‘who’ would help us refocus and acknowledge the value of the contribution others make?
If we’re not interested in the profession, we can be interested in the person and value the skill. We all deserve to be valued.